Terminating cover crops

Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to start thinking about terminating the cover crops that were planted last fall, mainly the annual ryegrass and cereal rye.

“To get the best kill on cereal rye and ryegrass, it must be actively growing,” said Beck’s Hybrids Agronomist Alex Johnson. “If your neighbors are mowing grass, that’s a good sign that the cover crops are ready to be sprayed.”

For cereal rye, Johnson suggests using a full rate of glyphosate and applying it about 10 to 14 days ahead of planting corn, making sure you use the proper amount of ammonium sulfate (AMS).

The wet spring may hinder any kind of spraying while cover crops are on the shorter side, but Johnson says there is a workaround.

“At that point, it’s better to plant into the standing cover crop while it’s still green and then spray and kill it,” Johnson said. “If you kill a taller cover crop, it will make a matted mess that will be really challenging to plant through.”

For annual ryegrass, the plan of attack will differ a little. The full rate of glyphosate and proper amount of AMS is uniform with cereal rye.

“A best practice for killing annual ryegrass is to spray on a warm, sunny day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” Johnson said. “If there also some winter annuals in the field include some 2-4-D in there to control those weeds as well.”

AUDIO: Terminating Cover Crops

Becks Alex Johnson Cover Crops

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